To succeed in business, you need to constantly perform at your best. The better you promote yourself, and the more people you connect with, the more your brand will grow. We’re good at promoting ourselves online. Use social media, grow an email list, and interact with people. Promoting your brand during an industry event is completely different.
Industry events are different because of their structure. You have a limited time window to learn from speakers and connect with attendees. Within your limited time, you need to build relationships that will continue after the event.
Promoting your business is much easier if you are the speaker at a industry event. As an attendee, it’s more difficult.
Regardless of whether you are a speaker or an attendee, the insights in this article will give you a leg up at the next industry event you attend.
Determine Your Objectives
Determining your objectives revolves around this question:
What do I want to get out of this event (other than learning from speakers)?
Do you want to recruit more affiliates for your upcoming launch? Do you want more clients? Are you looking for a coach? These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself as you ponder the primary question.
Without determining your objectives, none of the other tactics in this article will carry any weight. Determining your objectives is the first step to achieving them.
Meet Up With The Right People
When you walk into an industry event, you’ll be walking within a sea of people. Not all of these people are equally important for your objectives. Some people are more enthusiastic than others to hire a coach. Some people are downright negative, and you need to get out of those conversations as quickly as possible.
The event’s structure will make it easier or more difficult to meet up with the right people. If an industry event has many presentations, you can attend the presentations where more of your potential clients will be.
Let’s say you coach people on launching and scaling a successful podcast. You can either go to the presentation about podcasting or the presentation about Twitter.
Go to the presentation about podcasting, connect with people before it starts, and then connect with more people after the presentation.
If presentations are not segmented in this fashion, arrive earlier than usual and talk with the other early birds. The early birds are usually some of the most determined attendees at the event.
Even if these people aren’t the right people for your coaching, affiliate program, or anything else, chances are they know a good fit.
Talk With The Speakers
If you go to an industry event, you owe it to yourself to talk with the speakers. Getting on these individual’s radars will open the door to more opportunities in the future.
This is how some of my best friendships with top players in my industry get formed. I watched people like Seth Godin, Mike Michalowicz, and Ramon Ray deliver awesome presentations multiple times. I interacted with all three of these marketing legends multiple times.
You only get that level of interaction and friendship by continuing to show up and interacting with the speakers. If you want to take this specific tactic to the next level, you can follow a speaker around to multiple locations.
Just make sure you can go up to the speaker and say what you were able to implement from the previous speech.
Influencers appreciate it when you consume their content and pay attention to their brands. They love it when they hear people say, “This is what you taught me…and this is how I applied it to my business.”
Make A Profit From The Event
Have you ever wondered why people are willing to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars for a single ticket at an industry event? Most people view these events as opportunities to learn from the leaders and interact with them.
Savvy marketers view these industry events as a way to make more money. The moment I graduate college, I’m going to more events like Social Media Marketing World regardless of whether I am a speaker or an attendee.
Tickets cost anywhere from a several hundred to over $1,000 depending on when you get them. At an event like this, I would build relationships with people and hope at least one attendee becomes a client.
The lowest I charge for any of my services is $497/mo with a 6-month commitment. That’s $2,982 in six months—way more than the price of a Social Media Marketing World ticket.
And that’s if I just get one client for my lowest-priced service.
But an event like Social Media Marketing World attracts thousands of social media marketers, so if I only got one client from SMMW, I definitely did something wrong.
Practice Your Pitches Beforehand
The second worst time to start practicing is on the day of the event. The worst scenario is to not practice at all.
If you can’t effectively communicate with attendees, you won’t achieve your objectives. No matter how great your product is, you won’t get affiliates if you don’t effectively communicate.
I advise practicing every day for moments like this. Getting in front of the mirror helps some people, but I don’t see the need. As long as you continue practicing your pitch, you’ll give a better pitch when you need to.
Start with practicing your various elevator pitches. Various elevator pitches?
One person would be a great guest on your podcast. Another person would be a great client. Each person gets a different pitch.
You don’t tell the potential guest about your coaching services. You don’t focus your conversation with the potential client about your podcast.
As an added bonus, you can practice the pitch with someone. Make your pitch, and have your partner control the rest of the conversation.
How will you react when your partner says, “This works”, “This isn’t for me right now”, or something similar?
How will you handle questions like “What’s the price?” and “What’s your podcast all about?”
Don’t just get a partner who listens to your elevator pitch. Ask that partner to get actively involved and ask questions as if this wasn’t a rehearsal.
This is where the magic happens. You’ve gone back-and-forth between sessions, attendees, and speakers. Understand that everyone else at the industry event followed that same schedule.
A day after the event, everyone begins to play catch up mode. People respond to emails, address backlogged tasks, and do everything else that they missed.
But during this time, many people are catching up with their inboxes. You need to get into the attendees’ and speakers’ inboxes during this time.
Continue the conversation you were having before. This email will be different depending on who you were talking to. You may decide to send a potential client a link to schedule a free 30 minute call. You may provide a speaker with a link to schedule a time to appear on your podcast.
For people you want to know better but don’t have a call-to-action for, you can simply email them and mention the following:
How great the event was (great practice for any post-event email)
How much you enjoyed meeting the person and/or learning from them
To help you with this process, write some notes on the back of every business card you receive. Write what you and the other person just discussed and some points you can bring up during the post-event conversation.
What were the topics you discussed? Did anything personal come up from either side? Did this person have a kid, upcoming birthday, or anything else? Who’s their role model? You won’t know the answers to all of the questions like these. Knowing the answer to a single one will allow you to write a more personalized email.
Why would I write a blog post about industry events when I rarely attend them? The answer is that I set a goal to attend a few industry events in 2018. I’m going after the more high-ticket industry events where I know I can positively impact attendees.
I’m going where more of my targeted audience goes. But these aren’t just people in my targeted audience. These are people who care… a lot.
If you’re willing to spend hundreds or even a little over $1,000 on a single ticket, and that doesn’t include traveling expenses for people who live in different countries, you know this is a serious crowd.
They’re super successful already or willing to put in as much effort as possible to become super successful.
You don’t just spend that much money for a single ticket and plan out your travel just to be wishy washy during the event.
Seriously committed people attend these types of events, and you should too. My school schedule makes it more difficult to attend a variety of these events, but I’ll tell you this…
I’ll be at Podcast Movement 2018.
What are your thoughts on attending industry events? Do you have any tips for making the most of these events? Do you have a question for me? Sound off in the comments section below.